Colorado Athletes on Maui: Dallow & Klawitter

Kurt Dallow

My name is Kurt Dallow and I’m in the 65-69 yo age group and will be competing at the Xterra World championship in Maui in a few weeks. This is my second trip- my family and I made a great vacation out of our last trip to the World’s Championship 6 years ago. Then, I was lucky to get in on the lottery. It was an incredible experience racing with some of the world’s best triathletes in a beautiful setting.

 

This year I qualified through perseverance​. I competed at the Mountain States championship held in Beaver Creek, CO this year. Three miles into the bike leg, I had mechanical problems and pushed my bike the remainder of the bike leg. I was able to get support at the last aid station on the bike course and made it in just before the cut off time.

When you are in the 65-69 year age group, the numbers competing are less, so while placing a distant 3rd, the world’s spot rolled down to me. If I had DNFed – No Maui trip!

I have raced triathlons now for over 20 years and in the last 5-10 years have done mainly off road triathlons like Xterra. I am a sports medicine physician so my training time is limited Xterra meets my need to compete as I age.

My wife Cindy and I, now coach endurance athletes and provide both nutritional coaching and sports medicine advice. You can find us at  2Doc tri coaching

 


Lukus Klawitter

 

I am a Professor of Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics at Adams State University in Alamosa Colorado. Adams State is a small Division II University in southern Colorado sitting just above 7,500ft in elevation. I was born and raised in Minnesota and moved to Colorado five years ago to complete my Master’s degree in Sport Physiology.


This is my second year racing Xterra triathlon. I grew up running and always saved time to ride a bicycle. I was becoming extra fond of mtn bike racing after my move to Colorado, when a friend told me about Xterra, combining mtn biking and running after surviving a swim
sounded like fun. My first year of Xterra I raced two races, Xterra Beaver Creek and the Xterra World Championships. I qualified for Worlds at Beaver Creek through a roll over position. I didn’t feel as if I deserved the trip but didn’t want to end the season so soon. I am glad I went because it really fueled me for taking this year current serious and bettering myself in the sport.

This year I had a full race schedule planned from the end of May to the Xterra World Championships if I was able to qualify straight up. However, at the end of May I suffered a stress fracture in a metatarsal of my foot which put me in the pool and off the bike and out of the running shoes for eight weeks. This ended my entire summer race schedule.

I was able to maintain some fitness swimming and push the limits of my rehab to be ready for Xterra Fruita the weekend before Xterra Pan Ams. I had great outings in both races wining the open male category at Fruita and winning my age group at Pan Ams where I qualified for this year’s world championships where I am very excited to bring my current fitness and see what I can do.

My goal for Xterra Worlds is to mix it up in my age group and place high in the amateur rankings. I am really excited to get back on the mtn bike course hoping for little to no rain this year.

Colorado Athletes on Maui: André Szucs

Andre was born missing his leg below-the-knee and has dedicated much of his personal and professional time to improving the quality of life for amputees. He is no amateur to extreme sports after completing the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona and the Xterra World Championships. Andre’s “surfer” mentality and demeanor keeps him level headed throughout the grueling ups and downs of this mountain biking journey.’

 

Excerpt below from xterraplanet.com

Andre Szucs, a below-the-knee amputee, has been overcoming adversity his entire life. So much so, he says “basically, I came to the conclusion that I am no different than anyone else out there, like everybody I am just exploring my physical limits…not to be confused with physical limitations because of an amputation, that’s not how I handle my life.”

“I thought I knew myself enough to consider that I was “fully capable” but I always had that unfortunate feeling that I could not run off-road.  This fear was always surrounding me that I could hurt myself and it could be bad for my knee and nothing could change that.”

2017 Leadville Trail 100MTB

 

“It was a benchmark in my life and a whole new perspective on how far I could go. I am so excited to start this journey and I know there is so much room for improvement, especially on my prosthesis for running.”

Szucs second XTERRA was at the USA Champs, where he finished 3rd in the PC division and earned a qualifying spot into the XTERRA World Championship.

“Lesson learned,” said Szucs.  “Don’t be afraid to be happy. When asking ourselves if we can do something…before answering, go and TRY FIRST!”

Colorado Athletes on Maui: Benny Smith

My name is Benny Smith and I’m 17 years old. I did my first tri when I was 6 and started getting serious with training at like 13. I definitely started doing them because of my dad.

 

This will be my second year going to the Xterra World Championships. I qualified at Xterra Beaver Creek. I’m currently ranked 1st in the country for 19 and under which is pretty sick and I’m grateful to get so many sweet opportunities. I love climbing when cycling and running and I get STOKED when I’m way in the mountains/ocean and snowboarding in waist deep pow!!

Vixxen Racing looking for 2018 Project Feisty Ambassadors

Our Find Your Feisty initiative has been so successful and we love seeing all the women grow and develop as athletes. As a result, Vixxen Racing is introducing Project Feisty as a new initiative for 2018. We are looking for women everywhere to join the Vixxen family and show off their Feisty Side.

As a member of Project Feisty, we hope you contribute to your local training groups and triathlon community, serving as ambassadors to women and sharing the mission of Vixxen.

We are looking for women who strive to be competitive athletes, but mostly we want women competitive within themselves; women racing to be their best selves!

 

The only requirement for Project Feisty is that you embody the Vixxen mission! You will get you access to:

  • Peer-to-peer mentorship from the members of Vixxen Racing
  • A monthly newsletter highlighting all things Vixxen and the issues facing women athletes
  • A great lineup of partners and sponsors including but not limited to: EK Endurance Coaching, Base Performance, Roka, and Zealios Skin Care
  • A Project Feisty Performance Kit including: T-shirt, hat and your choice of cycling or triathlon kit
  • Invitation to select Vixxen racing summits, training sessions, and camps
  • Access to the Project Feisty community

 

Applications are due Monday October 23rd.

Complete details and application HERE

Colorado Athletes on Maui: Ryan McMullen

 

This is my 5th season in Xterra and this will be my 2nd trip to the World Championship. I qualified at Beaver Creek (3rd amateur overall) and at the Pan American Championship in Utah (3rd in age group). I have had a very rewarding season and I’m excited to cap things off in HI.

This is the 5 year benchmark of my racing and has had me reminiscing a lot lately. I started this journey with almost no experience in any of the disciplines of triathlon. I grew up riding BMX bikes around the neighborhood, I took a few swim lessons as a kid, and I ran cross country for a couple of years in high school to hang out with the girls. However, I have always had a strong drive to be active and for most of my life basketball was an outlet and a passion of mine. I poured myself into that sport and I’m very grateful for what it gave me in return, but basketball is tough on your body and eventually I had to look for another outlet. At the same time I was struggling with some old lifestyle habits that were essentially killing me both physically and emotionally.

 

 

The turning point for me was this very clear moment when I realized that my two little girls weren’t going to have their dad around for very much longer if I wasn’t willing to change who I was and what I was doing. So I started making some small positive changes and the momentum just grew, as did the void. Then I remember watching one of the nationally broadcasted Xterra shows and the seed was planted. With absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into, I quickly signed up for an off-road triathlon in Lakewood, CO called “Battle the Bear”. At the time I had no idea what I was doing. I was 40 lbs. overweight, I could barely swim, I couldn’t seem to keep the rubber side of the bike down, and the run just flat out hurt; but I finished, and I found a new passion.

2017 IRONMAN World Championships Kona – Bill Plock’s Tri Hearter Recap

BEN HOFFMAN

By Bill Plock

I’m struggling to know what to share with you. There is so much. So much. Joy. Triumph. Sadness. Perseverance. Grit. Guts. Tenacity. The list is super long!

The results of the Ironman World Championships are not measured by a clock, or a place on a podium or by a Garmin. They are measured by smiles, tears and hugs. By racing and watching this race, we make huge deposits in the experience bank of our souls that serve us later in life.

Colorado’s Vicki Derrick and Jamie Twedt

It’s hard to share an epic event like this without using a cliche. I need to remember that to “narrow your focus broadens your appeal” and as one of the eyes and ears of 303triathlon, my “job” is to share with you and try to find relativity in this ocean of stories. Imagine you are on the pier and 2,400 boats appear on the horizon intending to land. Each one from a different place, maybe a different continent, maybe even from a country you didn’t know existed. Each boat carries stories and dreams and some are captained alone but most come with a crew. But they all have one goal. To finish.

Being in Kona for race week is like being on a captive island of history and tradition drawing these boats in like a compass faces north. The triathlon world focuses here for the week. Even if the Ironman distance is not your race of choice, the challenge of the sport clearly radiates here. Experts and those in the industry greet all of these boats, and in our case meeting legends like Bob Babbitt and Mike Reilly to share the history and meaning of this race just make the landing that much richer.

D3 Multisport’s Simon Butterworth, on his way to winning his age group

I encourage you to listen to those interviews to gain a true perspective on what happens here and what HAS happened here. What I have learned, and continue to learn each time I am here, is that to know the history, and to respect the race is essential to understand its epic nature.

With the focus on Colorado and our saturation of this race with 54 athletes toeing the line we have a lot share—and a lot to be thankful for. It feels like family. With all those boats landing and people scurrying everywhere, to latch on to a familiar smile, to know just a few stories is like finding a life preserver in rough unknown waters.

303 Ambassador Todd Plymale-Mallory encourages Andy Potts

We at 303 see ourselves as a bridge to you. A place where you can see what happens when your friends and loved ones landed here with 2,346 other athletes. Yes some came here to win it all, and our local pro, Andy Potts, was the first American across the line. We in Colorado have a lot to be proud of.

The other 53 athletes persevered. We tried to share moments of each of their journeys and for any we may have missed, it wasn’t for lack of trying. And you made Colorado proud and it was such an honor to share your journey with our readers and subscribers a few thousand miles away. Even with technology of instant connectivity, it’s the intangible flow of like-minded energy and a love of this sport and a love of every journey we encountered, that hopefully rushed at the speed of light into your hearts. We hope you felt what we did, and sharing that and feeling such a wonderful community in Colorado at the “Super Bowl” of triathlon is what makes being at this race epic.

Be proud 303 Nation. We have the most amazing triathlon community in the world.

Athlete, Matt Russell, struck on Ironman cycling course, suffers serious injuries

KAILUA-KONA — A professional athlete suffered serious injuries after he struck a vehicle on the cycling course of the 39th annual Ironman championship, Saturday morning.

The accident occurred around 11 a.m. Hawaii Police Maj. Robert Wagner said the cyclist was traveling toward Kona on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when he broadsided a vehicle crossing the highway from Waikoloa Road.

According to the Ironman Track app, the athlete was 75 miles into the 112-mile course and had four hours of race time when he was last tracked at mile marker 76.

The cyclist was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital. Wagner said the cyclist was reported in serious condition around 1 p.m. By 3:30 p.m., his condition appeared to be improving.

Janey Brink said the accident happened right in front of her while she was cheering the athletes on from the highway with family and friends. She said the cyclist was going full speed when the vehicle pulled in front of him in the intersection.

“I’ve never seen a body go through what his body went through,” Brink said. “He came out of his clips.”

Brink splits her time between Hawaii Island and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She said she came to visit with her husband and friends, specifically to watch Ironman.

Brink said police used her umbrella to cover the cyclist. Officials also asked they stay around so they could talk to them about the crash.

“No one ever came to talk to us and we stayed for a long time,” Brink said.

Wagner said there were some cones in the area where the crash occurred but there are also several police officers directing traffic at the intersection. The accident is under investigation.

Brink said those directing traffic were allowing cars to cross the intersection two or three vehicles at a time.

“We couldn’t understand why cars in that intersection were still moving,” she said.

Brink said the riders had no idea there was an incident in the intersection and that it was another incident waiting to happen, almost.

 

“This rider, he could do nothing,” she said. “These riders need to have a clear path and that intersection was not clear.”

There was another collision on the cycling course involving a pedestrian and a competitor. Wagner said the cyclist picked up his bike, but went out of view of the cameras that watch the course. Wagner wasn’t sure if the cyclist continued on, but it appeared that way.

Wagner said Saturday evening no other collisions on the course were reported.

Original West Hawaii Today article HERE

 

A YouCaring page has been started to support Matt and his family.  You can find the link HERE.

 

 

303Tri asks, Are U.S. Triathletes “too cool for school” when it comes to Kona Parade of Nations?

By Khem Suthiwan

What’s Up With American Triathletes?

For anyone who has raced, volunteered, or spectated at the IRONMAN World Championship, you know that being there is quite the experience. From the Kona Underpants Run and Dig Me swim out to the coffee boat, there are a handful of Kona traditions.

One of the long-standing traditions is the Parade of Nations.

Much like the one from the Olympics, athletes from all over the world band together in solidarity representing their countries. Some show organized efforts with clever t-shirts and themed costumes. Year after year, the countries with large and proud turnouts include Great Britain, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

So the question is, why did the United States with 751 athletes (largest of all countries) only had 40 show up to the Parade of Nations this year? Did 711 athletes think it was “too cool for school” to be part of this iconic Kona tradition?

What do you think?

Pro Tim Don hit by car, out of Kona – Video reassures fans and followers

The masses of triathletes collected in Kona for IRONMAN World Championships collectively grieved yesterday as word of Tim Don‘s bike crash spread like wildfire… From the Slowtwitch Party to the annual Training Peaks gathering, there were many speculations that Tim’s back was broken… that he was unconscious… that, no matter what the severity, he was out of the race.

Leave it to “The Don” to hit the social airwaves in a timely fashion, complete with his dry humor, posting an Instagram video for fans and followers. Suffice it to say, to see the predicted top-ten contender sitting up and talking, cracking jokes, was reassuring. A Great Britain native who lives and trains in Boulder, the Colorado community especially was  eager for news. In the video Don jokes that he was simply working on his new “aero look” with his neck brace, seeking to gain an advantage over Jan (Frodeno), Sebby (Kienle) and Patrick (Lange)…

VIEW TIM’S VIDEO

Colorado Athletes in Kona: Amazing and Strong Women Represent Colorado

Kirsten McCay

 

In 2001, after I finished my first ironman triathlon, I wanted to qualify for the World Championships in Kona. I started watching it on TV every year and although it seemed like it would never be within my reach, I still secretly hoped that one day with enough dedication, persistence, consistency, and hard work, I could one day race in Kona.
Over the next 12 years, I did 10 ironman distance triathlons and typically placed between 20th and 40th in my age group. This was far from the place I needed to qualify for Kona, but I kept working toward my big dream of racing on the big island.

 

In 2013 when they announced a new ironman in Tahoe that was high altitude, hilly, and hard, I decided I was going to put everything I had into training and go for it! On July 1, 2013 I moved to Tahoe for the next 12 weeks to train on the course every single day.

Race day came, I placed third in my age group, which earned me a spot to the 2014 World Championships.
I had a hard race that year in Kona, mostly because I felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I felt like it was a fluke that I even qualified in the first place because almost half the girls in my age group in Tahoe DNF’d from the cold and harsh conditions. I left Kona feeling defeated and I swore I would never do that race again!

But then two years ago I decided I wanted to try to qualify one more time. To be honest, it was mostly to prove to myself that I could. I made a two year goal to qualify at the 2017 Boulder Ironman.


I was aging up in 2017, so the first year I did Boulder in 2016 was just to see how the course was, how I placed, and to see what I needed to work on for 2017. That year I PR’d by over an hour and placed fifth in my age group This gave me the confidence to go for it in 2017.

Race day came, I ended up winning my age group, earning a spot to Kona, and here I am!!

I feel worthy, I feel deserving, I feel strong and fast and ready to have the best race that I can possibly have this year.
My goal this year is to have fun, to finish the race feeling like I truly gave it all I had, and to know that I deserve to be an athlete in the World Championships Ironman race.

 


Kristine Reinhardt

I always seem to be bringing up the rear these days, with never enough time to get it all done. I took up triathlons in 2014 when I joined my husband and friend on a “pinky swear” to sign-up for IRONMAN Boulder’s inaugural year (2014). Probably not one of the smarter things I have done because I was completely blind to what a challenge it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I knew all about IRONMAN, I just had never actually swam, biked or ran for anything. In my “dreams” I was always very fast and usually always won, but as I started training reality kicked in and I realized I just might be in over my head (this was no dream)! To make the commitment more meaningful, I decided to race for a cause through the IRONMAN Foundation. Well, I did race IRONMAN Boulder 2014, but I was far from first. In fact, I was second to last in crossing the finish line and hearing Mike Reilly call out “Kristine Reinhardt, you are an IRONMAN!” I had finished with 66 seconds to spare before a DNF! My coach at the time was, Tim Hola, and I remember him saying “you sure did cut it close.”


Well, I couldn’t have IM Boulder be my one and done. I unsuccessfully tried IRONMAN Cabo in 2015 and missed a bike cutoff. In 2016, I decided I would give IMAZ a try but under the IRONMAN Foundation flag. I really believe that racing for a cause was my calling. I started the year with contacting all my friends and family and encouraging them to give to a great cause while I raced as a back of the pack triathlete trying to make a difference. However, 2016 didn’t go as planned. The spring found me battling skin cancer and recovering from surgery and in the fall, my business partner of 27 years had a brain aneurism (he passed away this year). I never made it to the starting line of IMAZ! However, I was not deterred from finishing the task at hand – to raise money for the IRONMAN Foundation. In November I was notified that I was close to being the top fundraiser for the Foundation. Well, that is all it took. I spent two months contacting people every day selling them on why they should donate to IMF. As it turns out, I ended up being the #1 fundraiser for the Foundation in the Americas, which resulted in a slot to Kona! Unbelievable!

I have spent 2017 working with an amazing coach, Alison Freeman, from D3 Multisport. I have the best support system anyone could ask for in my incredible husband and 5 kids! We will be making the journey to Hawaii as a family and Alison. Crossing the finish line in Kona will prove that Anything is Possible!

Read the D3Multisport team highlight HERE

 


Cheryl Weill

 

Kona’s oldest female competitor this year is swimming in a fountain of youth

Among those getting the senior citizen discount, most say old age began in their 60s. But don’t tell 72-year-old Cheryl Weill that. 60? That’s when she learned how to swim.

“I first became aware of Ironman in the 1980s,” Weill reflects, “but at the time I was busy with my career in neuroscience. I didn’t get serious about triathlon until 2004.”

Weill, who had been a runner and cyclist since her college days, decided to use her newfound free time in retirement to finally indulge her multisport interests. “A friend I met cycling encouraged me to give it a try. All I had to do was become a swimmer, so at 60 years of age, I started swimming.”

Weill jumped into the pool and discovered a fountain of youth. She gets a lot of energy from the people who surround her: As one can imagine, there aren’t too many other 70-year-old triathletes training with her. “I train with a local Masters swim group,” says Weill, who lives in Fort Collins, Colo. “My partner also does triathlons, and sometimes I can train with her, but she is 55 and faster than me.”

Some might assume her age also offers an advantage in Kona qualifying. After all, she was the only person in her age group at Ironman Maryland in 2016, automatically earning a Kona spot simply for finishing. But that only distracts from her 13:59:02 finishing time, a respectable performance at any age.

Reposted from triathlete.com